This summer, a handful of students attending summer intensives around the country will be sharing their experiences with Pointe. Here, Maddy Graupmann recounts her second week at Houston Ballet.
I can’t believe how quickly the time is flying by! It must be because we are so busy all the time. I love a full day’s schedule of dance, though. I remember coming last year after only dancing after school—I don’t think I've ever been more sore than that first week! Now that I've done an entire year with Houston Ballet Academy, dancing all day, I’m pretty used to it, but I still like to get a lot of rest to take care of my body.
My favorite part of last week was our repertoire class. Our level (Level 7) is dancing an excerpt from Serenade and “Friends” from Coppélia. We have rep five times a week for multiple hours each day. But, as is true for professional ballet companies, being in rehearsal doesn’t necessarily mean dancing the entire time. For us, there is a lot of standing and waiting for our cast’s turn to dance. There is always room for improvement, though, so I usually mark the steps while another cast is dancing. This also distracts me from the pain in my feet. Isn’t it weird that when you’re in pointe shoes, it hurts more when you're just standing in them than it does actually dancing? For me, I try to do something other than stand still because it shows better work ethic and my feet thank me after.
Another new thing from last week was a helpful correction I received: to lengthen my waist and hold my core stronger. Seems obvious, right? It just slipped to the back of my mind, but since I’ve been thinking about it more, I have been able to turn more, balance longer and my placement has improved.
Time is ticking until the final performance. Serenade is a hard piece because we all have to stay together in very tight and specific formations. We will be cleaning that a lot! “Friends” isn’t as difficult in terms of spacing, but the choreography is more challenging. I can’t wait for my mom to come down and see the performance! She just loves to watch me dance. I can’t believe we’re almost halfway to the performance.
I hope all of y’all had a great 4th of July! Talk to you next week!